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Know Your Foe: NL Looks To Retain World Series Home Field Advantage

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 09:  Detail of the MLB All-Star game logo on the field at Chase Field on July 9, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The 2011 MLB All-Star game will be held on July 12, at Chase Field.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 09: Detail of the MLB All-Star game logo on the field at Chase Field on July 9, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2011 MLB All-Star game will be held on July 12, at Chase Field. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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American League All Stars (38-40, 2 ties)

Last All Star Game: L 1-3 @ Angel Stadium

After 13 straight All Star Games without a win for the National League, the 2010 All Star Game had a different end result in mind.

Colorado's own Ubaldo Jimenez squared off against David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both pitchers pitched 2 scoreless frames apiece, and fans from both sides feared that we were looking into another zillion inning stalemate.

After Josh Johnson, Andy Pettitte, and Cliff Lee pitched 2 scoreless innings per side, the AL struck first in the 5th with an unearned run off of LA's Hong-Chih Kuo. This is about the point where the NL had a whole bunch of defensive replacements, including Matt Holliday replacing Ryan Braun, Marlon Byrd replacing Corey Hart and moving to CF, Andre Ethier moving from CF to RF, etc etc. You know how these things work.

Anyhow, to start the bottom of the 5th, Kuo walked Evan Longoria. Never what you want to see in a tied All Star Game. After that, Joe Mauer grounded back to Kuo, who promptly botched the throw to 1B, advancing Longo to 3B and moving Mauer to 2B. Robinson Cano drove in Longoria on a sac fly to LF. Kuo induced a FC to Carl Crawford on the ol' 6-5, snagging Mauer at 3B. So runners at 1st and 2nd, 2 outs, and Charlie Manuel decides to go to Heath Bell. Bell forced a flyout to Torii Hunter, and luckily, as that inning had all of the makings of a nasty one.


After another inning and a half of scoreless play, the NL finally struck back. Joey Votto grounded out to begin the inning against Phil Hughes. 1 down. Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday both singled, putting runners at the corners with 1 out. Matt Thornton was then called upon to clean up this mess, and after inducing an immediate popup to Arizona CF Chris Young, it looked like the AL was going to wriggle out of this mess.

Thornton walked Matt Holliday, to load the bases with 2 outs. All appeared lost until Brian McCann took a 98mph fastball right down the pipe and deposited it into the RF gap, clearing the bases and giving the NL the 3-1 lead. 

No more runs scored past that , and Roy Halladay, Matt Capps, Adam Wainwright, Brian Wilson, and the Good Jonathan Broxton finished the game in scoreless fashion.

"Rosters" past the jump.

Ok, so here are the changes...well, most of them. I'll probably miss something between the writing of this and the actual game.

On the AL side, Felix Hernandez is ineligible for play, as he pitched on Sunday, so he was replaced by Boston's Jon Lester. But Lester is injured, so Toronto's Ricky Romero has been named in his stead.

James Shield was also intended to be on the roster, but he's ineligible as he pitched on Sunday as well. Enter Yankees' Ace CC Sabathia...who also pitched on Sunday. Texas' Alexi Ogando will take his slot. 

Justin Verlander ALSO pitched on Sunday, so he's out. David Price was also supposed to pitch, but he's out with turf toe. David Robertson from the Yankees will take a spot, as will Seattle's Michael Pineda.

Oh, and Alex Rodriguez is out, putting Kevin Youkilis on the roster. Considering that Youkilis is having a somewhat better season than ARod, this is a bad thing.

For the senior circuit, we've seen the following:

SS Jose Reyes and 3B Placido Polanco are both out with injury, and replacing them will be San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval and Arizona's Miguel Montero.

Cole Hamels and Matt Cain, both excellent additions to the NL staff, are both out due to having pitched on Sunday. Seriously, who scheduled this thing? Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel and Pirates' Kevin Correia will take their places.

So here's the AL Roster, per Wikipedia:

Position Player Team All-Star Games
C Alex Avila Tigers 1
1B Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox 4
2B Robinson Canó Yankees 3
3B Alex Rodriguez# Yankees 14
SS Derek Jeter# Yankees 12
OF José Bautista Blue Jays 2
OF Curtis Granderson Yankees 2
OF Josh Hamilton Rangers 4
DH David Ortiz Red Sox 7
Position Player Team All-Star Games
C Russell Martin Yankees 3
C Matt Wieters Orioles 1
1B Miguel Cabrera Tigers 6
1B Paul Konerko White Sox 5
2B Howard Kendrick Angels 1
3B Adrián Beltré Rangers 2
3B Kevin Youkilis[A] Red Sox 3
SS Asdrúbal Cabrera Indians 1
SS Jhonny Peralta[B] Tigers 1
OF Michael Cuddyer Twins 1
OF Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox 1
OF Matt Joyce Rays 1
OF Carlos Quentin White Sox 2
DH Michael Young Rangers 7
Player Team All-Star Games
Josh Beckett Red Sox 3
Aaron Crow Royals 1
Gio Gonzalez Athletics 1
Félix Hernández# Mariners 2
Brandon League Mariners 1
Jon Lester#[J] Red Sox 2
Alexi Ogando[M] Rangers 1
Chris Perez Indians 1
Michael Pineda[N] Mariners 1
David Price# Rays 2
Mariano Rivera# Yankees 12
David Robertson[C] Yankees 1
Ricky Romero[K] Blue Jays 1
CC Sabathia#[L] Yankees 5
James Shields# Rays 1
José Valverde Tigers 3
Justin Verlander# Tigers 4
Jordan Walden[D] Angels 1
Jered Weaver Angels 2
C. J. Wilson Rangers 1

Following them, the NL:

Position Player Team All-Star Games
C Brian McCann Braves 6
1B Prince Fielder Brewers 3
2B Rickie Weeks Brewers 1
3B Plácido Polanco# Phillies 2
SS José Reyes# Mets 4
OF Lance Berkman Cardinals 6
OF Ryan Braun# Brewers 4
OF Matt Kemp Dodgers 1
Position Player Team All-Star Games
C Yadier Molina Cardinals 3
C Miguel Montero[E] Diamondbacks 1
1B Gaby Sanchez Marlins 1
1B Joey Votto Reds 2
2B Brandon Phillips Reds 2
3B Chipper Jones# Braves 7
3B Scott Rolen[F] Reds 7
3B Pablo Sandoval[G] Giants 1
SS Starlin Castro Cubs 1
SS Troy Tulowitzki Rockies 2
OF Carlos Beltrán Mets 6
OF Jay Bruce Reds 1
OF Andre Ethier[H] Dodgers 2
OF Matt Holliday Cardinals 5
OF Andrew McCutchen[I] Pirates 1
OF Hunter Pence Astros 2
OF Justin Upton Diamondbacks 2
OF Shane Victorino# Phillies 2
Player Team All-Star Games
Heath Bell Padres 3
Matt Cain# Giants 2
Tyler Clippard Nationals 1
Kevin Correia[O] Pirates 1
Roy Halladay Phillies 8
Cole Hamels# Phillies 2
Joel Hanrahan Pirates 1
Jair Jurrjens Braves 1
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 1
Craig Kimbrel[P] Braves 1
Cliff Lee Phillies 3
Tim Lincecum Giants 4
Jonny Venters Braves 1
Ryan Vogelsong Giants 1
Brian Wilson Giants 3

Annnnnd the footnotes, if you're following:

  1. Kevin Youkilis replaced Alex Rodriguez on the roster due to injury.
  2. Jhonny Peralta replaced Derek Jeter on the roster due to injury.
  3. David Robertson replaced David Price on the roster due to injury.
  4. Jordan Walden replaced Mariano Rivera on the roster due to injury.
  5. Miguel Montero replaced Placido Polanco on the roster due to injury.
  6. Scott Rolen replaced Chipper Jones on the roster due to injury.
  7. Pablo Sandoval replaced Jose Reyes on the roster due to injury.
  8. Andre Ethier replaced Shane Victorino on the roster due to injury.
  9. Andrew McCutchen replaced Ryan Braun on the roster due to injury.
  10. Jon Lester replaced Felix Hernandez on the roster due to Hernandez's ineligibility to pitch.
  11. Ricky Romero replaced Jon Lester on the roster due to injury.
  12. CC Sabathia replaced James Shields on the roster due to Shields' ineligibility to pitch.
  13. Alexi Ogando replaced CC Sabathia on the roster due to Sabathia's ineligibility to pitch.
  14. Michael Pineda replaced Justin Verlander on the roster due to Verlander's ineligibility to pitch.
  15. Kevin Correia replaced Cole Hamels on the roster due to Hamels' ineligibility to pitch.
  16. Craig Kimbrel replaced Matt Cain on the roster due to Cain's ineligibility to pitch.
#: Indicates player would not play (replaced as per reference notes above).